Examples of Patriotism
Patriotism is demonstrated by various acts citizens take
pleasure in or consider as a duty toward their country they must fulfill. There are
simple and great acts of patriotism, collective and individual, known and secret ...
whose worth is measured by honesty, not greatness, as in giving a
gift to a "loved" one.
There are laws and traditions to protect and boost patriotism, instead
of leaving it completely to individuals' whims. They range from showing respect
to giving the highest awards for distinguished patriotic acts; and from paying a
simple fine to serving a harsh sentence for committing unpatriotic crimes.
Protecting One's Country
• We protect our pillars of state:
Patriotic citizens strive most to keep their country from falling, to
not regress to anarchy and tribalism, like that of prehistoric times before the concept
of state was even coined. No country makes progress without being stable first,
by respecting its laws and protecting its unity: keeping the unity of the army,
support for the police, integrity of the judiciary, and freedom of expression
that inevitably helps those designing the laws, plans, and future of a country.
• We protect our borders & resources:
Neglecting one's ages-old long-preserved land/property/heritage can invite
foreign intruders while leading other citizens to act similarly until it's lost. No
wonder territorial issues are complex, correcting long accumulative mistakes
that could've been avoided had citizens mindfully loved their country, both by listening to their territorial instinct &
refining it: studying, marking, defending, reclaiming, developing, and even expanding one's territory, by proper cooperation, alliance & eventual merging with others.
Fearing its power, colonialists always fought/ridiculed patriotism in their colonies
(while encouraging it back home), colluding with local traitors, creating divisions (ethnic/religious/political), and propagating
alternative values (modernization/civility/democracy/human
rights/etc.) to hide their real motive behind.
Meanwhile, dictators always stoked mindless chauvinism among citizens, instead of mindful patriotism that is based on mutual interest between citizens & state,
to keep them from knowing and fighting for their rights.
• We protect our security data:
Working in state security requires more patriotism, courage & discretion not
everyone has, that it's important to develop & reward such qualities esp. in
citizens in that field. Since information is most valuable, transferable &
vulnerable, we spend most on intelligence, using the latest technologies and
employing and training the best personnel, to collect and protect information.
However, when ill-chosen individuals operate such agencies, the damage can be
monumental, to others & us: antagonizing/destabilizing foreign countries, and
ruining many lives at home by sacrificing freedom in security's name.
We reward "good spies" who risk their lives saving our country, and punish the bad ones harming it, whose espionage can be a major treason. In some historical instances, the latter's damage amounts to an indirect country-wide theft or
slow cold-blooded killing of millions. Helping a foreign government/people is not a crime, as countries need each other and no country exists in a vacuum. What is unethical is to help a country harm another esp. if the latter you "know & owe" much.
• We protect our heritage:
We protect our ancestors' legacy to remember, value and "continue" their work,
realize their dreams, and make life better for future citizens:
- Recording/copying/digitalizing oral/written literature to save the lessons
it has from oblivion, and not repeat history.
- Protecting endangered languages/dialects and translating all material
written in them before they go obsolete.
- Protecting, restoring & reclaiming the historical relics and architecture
unique to one's country and ancestors, and the certain era they
- Keeping & reviving traditions and special national days, re-living with
ancestors the historic events they witnessed/made.
- Cherishing local arts, music, costumes, dances, etc. to share some aspects of their daily life and traditions they observed for
Helping One's Country
- We do whatever JOB we have with pleasure and excellence, believing it
somehow changes our country and the world, making it a better place.
- We watch EVERY ACTION we take, knowing it indirectly affects fellow
citizens too: we save home electricity/water/food, we use recycling/clean energy,
we make minimum noise/traffic, we respect our turns/lanes/roles, we don't throw trash on the street
or damage public properties, etc.
- We pay taxes, returning the "favor" directly.
- We voluntarily make donations, to the right places, causes and people,
that can really change our country.
- We favor home products, employees, tourism ... when they need a boost.
- We favor national currency in savings and transactions.
- We improve our "local community" to be a model for others and avoid the
centralization of privileged communities and marginalization of the
rest: we improve slums, connect remote/rural areas, inhabit nascent towns, protect
arable land/forests/rivers, reclaim desert/marshes, etc. Initially we clean streets, paint buildings, plant trees ...
- We support others physically (the poor/sick/captive/disabled/elderly) and
emotionally (acknowledging, encouraging, rewarding, solacing ... hearing
- We teach and give advice, speaking, writing, training, guiding ...
- We protect/save lives; e.g. we volunteer for the army. Risking one's life
for fellow citizens is the ultimate patriotic act.
- We learn our POLITICS basics to help our country more effectively,
deciding how politically involved we should be & what actions to take. We
take part in elections (partly ruling one's country) and demonstrations
(correcting its path & giving voice to legitimate causes). We contact
politicians, inform other citizens, organize events/campaigns, join a
party/civil society, and run for political positions.
- We solve our country's main problems first that hamper its progress, applying nationwide
reforms & implementing well-studied megaprojects benefiting all citizens.
- We study our country's uniqueness, to specialize in fields putting it in the
right niche in world order, for most benefit to us & others.
- We shape our country's future, for us & our children, not leaving it for chance,
by following long-term plans, setting future goals to achieve,
while already experimenting with and
- We visit & receive others for direct contact
with the world we all share and are part of.
- We advocate our national causes and advertise our local specialties, and
understand those of others.
- We exchange experiences and models of success, to
complete one another and start from where others have ended, rather than go alone in
- We find common ground together for more cooperation and less conflict,
respecting each other's sovereignty, security, and necessities.
- We treat tourists, investors, foreign students, and cultural or diplomatic
delegates with respect and hospitality.
Respecting One's Country
- We respect our protectors, valuing and rewarding, more than any other
group, those who risk their lives to protect ours: soldiers, policemen, security people, fire-fighters, life-guards, etc.
- We honor our national heroes who devote themselves to fighting for a national "larger cause"—helping others, expressing their opinion, or protesting injustice:
reformers, revolutionaries, pacifists, philanthropists, honest politicians/writers/activists
- We respect our national flag, anthem, monuments & symbols. Senses remind the mind of basic "simple facts" it misses sometimes, as do those reminders of "where we came from, grew up, and still live: the 'life' we owe our country many others don't have."
- We teach patriotism in schools, media, cultural centers, etc.
Enjoying One's Country
- We learn its history, about our ancestors who worked and toiled to
keep our country alive and strong. We show gratitude and enjoy "time-travel" by:
- Reading national history books and taking history courses.
- Commemorating national days.
- Visiting historic museums/sites.
- Living in historic neighborhoods, in houses with local design, furniture,
- We learn about its nature:
- Studying its geography, flora and fauna.
- Traveling to home destinations (coasts, forests, countryside, etc.); visiting local natural museums.
- We learn about its people:
- Studying its demography, anthropology and culture.
- Socializing with locals.
- Keeping and taking part in traditions: attending local marriages & festivals, sitting
in public places, enjoying local music/arts/foods, buying local souvenirs, wearing local costumes, etc.
- We enjoy our memories in our country:
- We visit evocative places unfound elsewhere in the
world, because they are only special to us: our old house, school, streets, parks, rendezvous, etc. We enjoy
the foods we tasted first, the old smells, songs ... and the people we grew up and shared life with.
* * *
Patriotism is weakened by familiarity and ignorance, making it taken for
granted, or even ridiculed and criticized. It needs experience, to be naturally
felt and grown, as any attempt for coerced patriotism
is doomed to failure. It
needs guidance, to not devolve into blind jingoism, to distinguish one's duty toward their country from
that toward the
rest of the world.
Nothing like having a first-hand EXPERIENCE can boost patriotism: coming
together to defend, support or enjoy one's country, as in wars, catastrophes,
protests, elections, outdoor festivities, community service, international
representation, hosting world events, etc. Any of these witness the most surges of patriotism in a
country's history, when citizens realize the advantages of their unity, for
helping or enjoying their mother land. Like gratitude, patriotism needs practice,
and temporary distance sometimes, for citizens to value what they own. They shouldn't
be exposed to the same national songs, films, sayings, public figures, etc.
that lose their effect over time. New, creative, provocative, high-quality
ones are needed, to evoke one's memories and stir those simple natural feelings one feels
toward their country.
Patriotism needs AWARENESS because in the present "virtual" world
we live in
(esp. the hi-tech young) alongside the physical one, global values are confused
with national ones, the whole with the parts, that many end up feeling less patriotic,
and irresponsible toward their country: the part of Earth they live in, know about most, and
can help most!
What is Patriotism
| Attachment to the Past